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Cunninlynguists: Dirty Acres

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If there were an award handed out to the best hip-hop group with the worst name, Kentucky's Cunninlynguists would win it on a yearly basis. Their stellar new CD Dirty Acres finds house producer Kno perfecting a moody sound that puts a dark, Southern-gothic twist on the soul-sample-based hyper-soul of Just Blaze and Kanye West, while the group's lyrics explore sensuality, spirituality, and politics with smarts and conviction. Devin The Dude lends his warbly croon and goofy charm to the lush love song "Wonderful," while Phonte Coleman and Witchdoctor lend their singular presence to the after-midnight sex voodoo of "Yellow Lines." Cunninlynguists are seemingly just a long-overdue name change away from getting the widespread respect and healthy sales they richly deserve.